Wednesday, 11 September 2013

What do you miss?


Yesterday lunch time I was on the bridge of RFA Mounts Bay which is docked in Bodrum for a week. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary is a civilian manned fleet owned by the British Ministry of Defence and the ships serve as supply vessels to the forces.  Anyone interested in the specifications should click  here to read the details

The crew and officers aboard were all very welcoming and as we tucked into the ample buffet and sipped our drinks in our ladylike "cocktail" dresses, the inevitable question was asked;  "What do you miss from the UK?"  I never know what to say to this as it seems churlish to admit to missing nothing and the usual "PG Tips and sausages" is no good as I dislike both.  "Marmite" is my only fallback answer.


After a while, I noticed that my fellow guests were taking photos and, as the crew were happily posing for shots, I realised how "Turkified" I had become.  In the centre of Bodrum there are big signs outside the Jandarma and the military holiday camp forbidding any photography. I had assumed that I would be  marched off to the brig if I started snapping.   I had managed to squeeze my camera in my dainty bag at the expense of car keys so at a very late stage did manage to take a few shots.


We were even given a guided tour of upper and lower decks. 


As I followed our eloquent guide, I wished someone would ask me the question again, because I do miss something from the UK and it's the easy openness and lack of suspicion with which we were welcomed on to the ship.  We wouldn't have got within 100 meters of a Turkish ship and would have probably had our cameras confiscated if we had taken any exterior shots.   A public relations event  wouldn't even be considered in Turkey. And it's not only the military. On archaeological sites, the interested spectator is viewed with distrust and kept as far away from the excavations as possible, with screens hiding the digging from view.   So in one word what do I miss - I think it is "fellowship", but I'm hoping you might come up with a better description.


18 comments:

  1. I read your "Turkified" self with a smile: ) though i agree with you, as much as I love my homeland and nothing compares to it, I do love the openness as well as "freedom" we have here in England, and a chance to express your opinion. Still, enjoy the weather, food, nature, sights and the lovely kindness from most folks at home:) ozlem

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  2. I suppose it is a small price to pay for the great life we live here Özlem but wouldn't it be great if our military didn't feel threatened by a tourist taking a snap of a gendarme standing in full view in the centre of Bodrum.

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  3. B to B, Coming from America, I'd have to say you left us with nothing to miss! America has become so security obsessed, I never noticed anything different about Turkey in that regard.

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    1. That's an interesting comment on the "land of the free"

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  4. Throw that woman in the brig, if only because she loves Marmite. Yuk! :-)

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    1. It's an acquired taste. All my family love it.

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  5. I always hate that question. In the early years here, I could reel off a list of things I missed, but now my answer is simply my family.

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    1. I wish they could visit you more Ayak.

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  6. . . try taking photos around 'sensitive' government or commercial buildings in UK - won't be long before security are all over you. Your defence that you are in a public place will count for little. The times they are a-changin'!

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    1. You are right - I was amazed That we could take photos on board. I now remember that one can not take photos of your own kids at some state schools for some weird "security' reasons.

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  7. Like you, I miss Marmite. And I know exactly what you mean about 'fellowship' - which for me is a language thing too. I forget sometimes how easy it is to be witty and 'linguistically interesting with English people as I spend so much time just making sure I understand and am understood in Spanish. Occasionally, my humour makes it through but not always!

    I do miss customer care too....there's no such thing in Andalucia. There are helpful people and then the rest.

    Great post, Annie.

    Axxx

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  8. After 20 years of living in France, the thing I miss most in Turkey is long summer evenings. I never liked Marmite and I've got over missing pork products and apart from a random hanker from time to time I really don't miss anything... except that watching the sun starting to set at 7 pm can be a little depressing sometimes.

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    1. Thanks for joining it Vicki - I haven't really thought about the early sunset time. Having been in Sweden and North Scotland in June and July this year - I found the really long light evenings strange.

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  9. I know what you mean and I think fellowship probably covers it pretty well. To go further would need a phrase or sentence. I think the thing I would miss most if I lived in France all the time would be ease of communication. My French is reasonably good and I can crack small jokes in it, but It still takes work to understand people as well as I can and I don't always succeed.

    As for taking photos, I've never been stopped anywhere in the UK, but I've never tried to test the boundaries either.

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    1. My Turkish is good enough for me never to be lost for words and I can hold my own in most conversations so I always feel at home - it's just the institutions that get me. They like to give the impression that "the public can't be trusted".

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  10. After 911 here...everybody is security obsessed . Can't even take a pic of a big bridge I've heard they can pull you in for questioning...especially if anything is near the Government buildings.
    I once tried in Izmir to take a pic of a GENDARME standing with a weapon and a small Scottie dog....I found that amusing.A Scottie dog for security.... Well they almost took my camera away.

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    1. Which is why I was so surprised that I was allowed to take photos of a british military ship.

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